Disabled activist denied entry to upscale restaurant

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Published on:March 7, 2015 1:37 pm

A disabled rights activist was denied entry into an upscale bar and restaurant in south Delhi, sparking condemnation from rights activists today.

Nipun Malhotra, who was born with arthrogryposis, a rare congenital disorder, which leads to lack of muscles in arms and legs, was denied entry to the restaurant last night.

Malhotra, who is also co-founder of the Nipman Foundation, was allegedly told by thesecurity and the manager of the restaurant that he would not be allowed inside as he was disabled.

“Our friends had decided to go to Keya for dinner. So nine of my friends, five boys and three girls went to the restaurant. One of my friends politely told the manager that one us would be coming on a wheelchair and that he should ensure that he reaches the table.

“The manager asked if the friend was injured or had a disability. When my friend informed him that he has a disability, the manager said that as a policy they do not allow disabled people inside,” Malhotra claimed.

“When my friend told me about it, I could not believe him and reached there with my brother. The security there stopped us from going inside saying the hotel as a policy does not allow disabled inside and started pulling my wheelchair.

“I was shocked. The manager then came out and to flip the argument said that we do not allow stag entires. When I told him that already three of my male friends and many others were inside, then how could he say that they do not allow stag entires?” Malhotra said.

The restaurant said it was a case of misunderstanding.

“It is a clear case of misunderstanding. Because of Holi were were getting a lot of drunk people at the gate. As a precautionary measure we were restricting the number of boys inside,” said General Manager Premjit Kumar

“Nipun was accompanied by two more boys and allowing them inside would have increased the number of men. So we just said that we are not allowing anymore stag entries,” the manager claimed.

Javed Abidi, Convener of the Disability Rights Group, said those behind the incident should be punished.

“It is horrible without any doubt. It defies the Disability Act of 1995. Infact the Act should not just be condemned but also severely punished,” he said.

TMC leader Derek O’ Brien tweeted his email id to Malhotra asking for details and promised to raise the issue in Parliament next week.

Disability Rights activist Malvika Iyer said the incident highlights the need to launch a sensitisation drive about the rights of the disabled people.

“We talk about the rights of the disabled people, about inclusion in education and employment sector. But this incident clearly shows that societal attitude is the biggest barrier for disabled people.

“It indicates there is a need for massive sensitisation and we are glad that this incident is being talked about,” she said.



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